I recently had a short Twitter discussion with Stefan Molyneaux that revealed: 1. all women but “his” women are fair targets, and 2. the reason he won’t come on our show. (Scared, you might reasonably think, but he had another reason.) It all began like this:
That was me with that comment about his daughter. I don’t do all of our tweeting, but I do much of it, and I take responsibility for that questionable choice.
It should be clear, though, that it isn’t an attack on his daughter, but on his (sexist and condescending) preaching, which is that women should have babies while they’re young.
“Get married young, have your babies, THEN have your career,” he’s advised.
Curious to know more about his cattle-dog drive to herd women into motherhood, we invited him to be on Childfree Girls. Like anyone else, we have our opinions, but our intention is always to be civil, genuinely curious, and open to discussion and/or not-nasty disagreement.
Questions we might ask him are, “What in particular qualifies you to spreadsheet women in order of perceived value?” and “Do you know to what extent the pervasiveness of militant pronatalist attitudes contribute to the emotional and psychological stress and devastation of women who are biologically incapable of having children?” Things like that.
He initially responded to our invitation with interest. But I guess he looked us up after that, saw that some of our reply tweets to him weren’t ego-stroking, and never got back to us to confirm a video conference date.
He just disappeared.
(I get ghosting in the virtual world of dating, but in the grown-up world of professionals, you expect more.)
It was CFG’s/my tweeted response to him, inappropriate as it was, that finally inspired him to ovary up and address the invite.
Alas, it seems he, unsurprisingly, prefers an echo chamber to being challenged by women, just as he’d rather creep tweetily into the reproductive lives of other people’s daughters, females he doesn’t know, using weird, sexist logic in an effort to cast them as mere baby suitcases outfitted with breasts and convenient hump holes.
My hope is that he’s as protective and proud of his daughter in real life as he seems to be on Twitter.
I hope he loves her and is interested in her happiness, that he’s the kind of dad who would never reduce her to a vessel meant to conceive. I hope he cares about her interests and supports her in whatever she wants to do–whether that means having children or not having children.
This isn’t even about Stefan, really, as much as it is about every person who thrusts themselves into the reproductive lives of strangers, who shame women for simply wanting to live a life of their choosing. I sincerely hope their treatment of strangers isn’t a reflection of their treatment of their own children.
I hope they all have real, meaningful love for their children and that they don’t pound their childbearing-age heads with “give me grandchildren/be fruitful/I don’t care what makes you happy, just get on your back and reproduce like a good body servant!”
Anything short of putting their children’s happiness before their own blind desire for more offspring, more, MORE would be the kind of selfishness many pronatalists seem predisposed, and quite happy, to misguidedly project onto the childfree.
Kristen Tsetsi is the author of the novel The Age of the Child, in which “life is protected from conception. Period. Then, oops, the unseen consequences of this legislation have spiraled out of control, and the powers that be need to rethink things. Now, even if you want a child, it’s not going to be easy. It’s not really your choice.” (Goodreads review)